Where a worker or applicant is required to accept a mandatory arbitration procedure as a condition of his or her employment, the arbitration agreement must meet all of the above requirements for unsealed employment contracts. The adopted version of the WTA also drops the initial list of items deemed „unacceptable“ unless the employee has designed it: in addition to revising or replacing existing guidelines and models of agreements, Employers should begin preparing and planning sexual harassment training for the model training program as soon as it has been published, as well as for the monitoring and disclosure of the necessary information in annual communications to IDHR and individuals who may be required during a survey. The Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (WTA) is designed to protect employees, consultants and contractors who actually report discrimination, harassment or alleged criminal behaviour in the workplace by prohibiting non-negotiable confidentiality obligations, waivers and mandatory arbitration proceedings on charges of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. The WTA came into force on January 1, 2020 and makes these provisions void, unless the agreement shows that employers and workers have agreed to the provisions. The WTA has a significant impact on all types of independent employment or advisory/contracting contracts, as well as transaction and termination agreements. Colleen represents companies in a large number of labour and business disputes and advises management on employee relations issues on a daily basis. Colleen has extensive experience in supplementing cases before federal and regional courts, including class actions for compensation and hourly lawsuits, non-competition injunctions, non-formal notice and misappropriation of trade secrets rights. She regularly defends court proceedings and administrative charges of discrimination, harassment, reprisals and violations of wages and hours. This is the latest in a series of cases that reflect a judicial „strengthening of force“ in the application of post-employment restrictions in Illinois, and this should be of particular concern to some employers.
Confidentiality rules covering all information relating to an employer`s activity are common and often escape judicial review, particularly when accompanied by a mis-disclosure of information that is made public and accessible to the public without the worker`s fault. In Assured Partners, Inc. v. Schmitt, No 2015 Ill App. (1st) 1411863 (1st Dist., October 26, 2015), the Tribunal ruled that certain provisions of an employee`s confidentiality agreement were too broad and unenforceable, including a provision prohibiting the employee from disclosing information about the „business or affairs of the company or its related companies.“ The court refused to amend or enforce the provision. The WTA does not apply to collective agreements. No contract, agreement, agreement, agreement, waiver or other document prohibits, prevents or limits or limits an employee, potential employee or former employee from reporting allegations of unlawful conduct to federal, state or local officials for investigation, including, but not limited, alleged criminal conduct or illegal employment practices.